Communications Director

National Employment Law Project
New York
Mission Statement: 

NELP is a national nonprofit advocacy organization with offices in New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, and Berkeley, promoting federal, state, and local policies to create good jobs, strengthen workers’ upward mobility, enforce worker rights, and improve benefits and services for the unemployed.  In collaboration with national and grassroots partners, NELP advances its work through research, advocacy, litigation support and technical assistance designed to raise wages, end wage theft and workplace violations, strengthen unemployment insurance, ensure employer accountability for workers in contract employment, encourage fair chance employment practices, and promote a comprehensive policy framework to build a good jobs economy. For more information, see advocates for workers’ rights, including the right to collectively bargain, non-management staff at NELP are members of Local 2320, UAW.

Position Description: 

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) seeks a dynamic, experienced, and skilled individual to bethe Director of the Communications team, which carries out NELP’s long-term goals through a full range of conventional and social media tools from reports and media outreach, to blog posts and digital content, to webinars and convenings— all of which elevate the solutions and challenges facing workers in low-wage industries. The Communications Director will provide leadership to a highly motivated, experienced team that is working to support NELP’s core goals of building worker power, dismantling structural racism, and addressing economic inequality.NELP divides its advocacy work into four portfolio areas that work in collaboration with four functional teams: Communications, Government Affairs, Legal, and Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives. The Communications Director oversees the Communications Team’s strategy and functions, including digital communications, marketing, media relations, social media, graphic design, videography, print and digital reports, internal communications, online advocacy campaigns, website development and maintenance, vendor relations, and rapid response. The Communications Director reports directly to NELP’s Deputy Executive Director.As the Communications Director, you will develop the overall vision of NELP’s communications program, in consultation with the management team and communications team members. You will also provide guidance, direction and leadership to the communications team, leading the process of developing and managing the communications team’s work plans using organizationally standardized tools and processes. The Director will be responsible for ensuring communication and coordination both within the team and with the portfolio and functional teams to ensure appropriate prioritizing, adequate staffing, and the identification and pursuit of cross-team opportunities. Key responsibilities include: Strategy / Vision

  • Ensure that the team fully understands NELP’s strategic plan, theory of change, and the relationship between that broader vision and strategic communications, in conjunction with the Deputy Executive Director.
  • Understand NELP’s role in the racial & economic justice movement and identify potential opportunities to lead or expand that role.
  • Lead the development and implementation of NELP’s core messages, in coordination with portfolio teams and functional teams and leadership.
  • Engage with external partners to identify opportunities for collaboration or coordination, in coordination and communication with the Deputy Executive Director.
  • Actively contribute to NELP’s work in becoming an anti-racist organization that reflects and embodies internally the values of social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Team Leadership and Coordination

  • Develop an annual team work plan that aligns with NELP’s mission and vision and furthers the organization’s strategic plan and theory of change, with input from the team and working closely with the Deputy Executive Director.
  • Ensure team’s work products are aligned with priorities and resources, reviewing and improving the team’s work product as appropriate.
  • Direct a multifaceted, fast-paced communications operation and ensure accurate, consistent messaging and branding are included in all elements of the different NELP teams’ work.
  • Lead Communications hiring teams, vendor management, and vendor relations, and make appropriate recommendations to the management team on the same.

Subject Matter Expertise

  • Keep abreast of relevant information, resources, tools, technical and technological developments in the communications field.
  • Develop or sharpen understanding in NELP’s areas of subject matter expertise in order to improve communications strategy in support of the organization’s goals.
  • Contribute as an expert to a manageable subset of the day-to-day functional work (approximately 25%), which may include preparing NELP-branded products for internal and external audiences and representing NELP in the media and at public events.

Cross-Functional and Portfolio Team Coordination

  • Lead the communication team’s development of strategies for portfolios, programs, projects, and campaigns, in coordination with the organization’s broader vision.
  • Contribute to NELP’s fundraising, grant proposals, project reports, newsletters and web materials.

Staff Development

  • Empower team members to grow and develop professionally through coaching, mentorship, and professional development opportunities in coordination with the Human Resources Director and Deputy Executive Director, as appropriate.
  • Directly supervise team members when appropriate.



You have a bachelor’s degree, and preferably an advanced degree in a relevant field, though 10 years of directly relevant experience and demonstrated effective performance in fulfilling key elements of the position may be substituted for educational requirements.The ideal candidate would have many of the following characteristics, though we will not rule out otherwise qualified candidates simply because they do not satisfy all the items described below:

  • 10 years of experience in communications required, including increasing levels of responsibility. Experience in an advocacy organization or public agency focused on labor law and policy, human rights, labor unions, or workers’ rights preferred.
  • Experience coordinating and overseeing an area of work or internal organizational processes preferred, including a demonstrated ability to oversee and coordinate multiple projects, develop and implement work plans, hold team members accountable to processes and deadlines, provide feedback to team members, assess adequacy and quality of work, facilitate meetings, and handle conflict.
  • Excellent oral, written communication and digital communications skills.
  • Working knowledge of digital marketing methodology, content development, data management and analytics, development and analysis of metrics, narrative change theory and practice, search engine optimization, social media advertising, graphic design, event promotion, development initiatives, and how they fit together.
  • Experience with computer tools including Windows, Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint), and digital content management (including WordPress); familiarity with tools like Airtable, Einstein, Meltwater, Pardot, Salesforce, Sprout Social, and Trendkite a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate relationships with key stakeholders to advance communications priorities, including influencers within labor, human rights, employment, civil rights, antiracism, racial justice and/or social insurance law and policy.
  • Strong time-management skills.
  • Ability to take and give direction.
  • Strength in managing, developing, coaching, and retaining individuals, empowering them to grow and develop professionally through positive reinforcement; comfortable with delegation and providing team members with meaningful ownership of projects and work products. Experience with Management Center techniques a plus.
  • Willingness to embrace NELP’s culture of accountability.
  • Comfort with ambiguity and change.

Start date and compensation:  This is a position that will be based in New York City. Start date will be as soon as possible. Positions in NELP’s bargaining unit are paid commensurate with relevant experience and education and based on collectively bargained scales. The Communications Director salary is based on years of experience on a scale beginning at $102,010 for 10 years of experience with a midpoint of $125,010 with substantial additional experience. Compensation also includes an excellent benefits package, including student loan repayment assistance for qualifying participants. This position is in NELP’s bargaining unit, represented by National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW Local 2320. 

$102,010 - $125,010
Application Deadline: 
Monday, July 15, 2019
Application Instructions: 

Submit your cover letter, resume, three references, and two samples of your work through our hiring form,, choosing the “Communications Director” application.  If you have questions regarding this announcement, please forward those to nelp [at], noting “Communications Director—Application” in the subject line.  No phone calls or other email inquiries please. Applications are due on July 15 but will be considered on a rolling basis. We hope to select the candidate to fill the position by mid-August if at all possible.NELP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an equal opportunity, fair chance, affirmative action employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status. 

Country/US Territory: 
United States